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3.5 out of 5 stars
Dead End [DVD] [2003]
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
This is a very scary movie, and I enjoyed it so much I gave it five stars. I was however tempted to give it 4 due to the ending. They could have just cut the film ten minutes earlier without having to try and give it a "twist" at the end which was frankly un-needed. Anyway, that aside, the film is basically a family's night-time journey through a forest. Caught on a road that appears to have no end, they suffer a series of terrifying encounters each time they have to stop the car. There is also some really dark humour throughout the film, particularly as the family members begin to get driven crazy coping with what is happening to them. There isn't any complexity of plot, just a creepy sense of being caught outside of time - in the Twilight Zone, for example - it is really a particularly scary Bradbury-esque movie, and I thoroughtly enjoyed it.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2004
If you like your horror films to be clever and suspenseful then you should definitely give this one a watch. Benefitting greatly from a simple set (one car, one road) and a cast of relatively unknown actors, the french director/writers have managed to create an entertaining and creepy film which is as much about the characters reaction to their situation as it is about the actual horror that occurs. I was particularly impressed with the performance of Lin Shaye as the mother, a fabulous character.
The storyline is simple. A family are travelling at night on Christmas Eve to visit relatives. In the car is the mother, father, son, daughter and the daughters boyfriend. The father decides to take a shortcut which takes them on a seemingly endless road in the middle of a forest. Shortly after a near miss with another car they spot a woman carrying a baby along the side of the road. Suffice to say after giving her a lift things start to go horribly wrong.
A very claustrophic, intense and incredibly classy piece of dark comedy/horror.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This film is one to watch several times as what seems like a cosy, humourous road movie turns into a nightmare. All I can say is look out for the Lady in White when your out driving on quiet country roads at night!! Atmospheric, constantly moving and a labyrinthine ending that leaves you wondering - did it or didn't it!! (I'll not say more and spoil the plot).
An intelligent and thought-provoking film - I've been talking about this film for days after watching it - if you like horror/mystery films buy it - it's a must have for your DVD collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2013
This film whilst entertaining enough has got to take suspension of disbelief to new lows;people witness horrific events and yet a couple of minutes later everything's forgotten,and characters wander off on their own after said events have occured. The characters are unsympathetic especially the cretinous(literally) wanker of a son.Little is actually explained and don't get me started on the ridiculous ending.On the plus side,some of the comedic elements work and the ghostly car scenes are chilling enough.All in all an uneasy blend of comedy and horror that ultimately doesn't come off.I'd actually give it a two and a half rating if I could.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I'm not going to go into great detail about the plot of this movie, as it twists and turns so many times that explaining too much of it would spoil the effect of the film. Suffice to say an average family find themselves stuck on a seemingly never ending road, being stalked by what they initially think is another driver.
What makes this film so refreshing is this:
A: The film is actually tense, suspenseful and chilling. I'm more or less desensitized to gore and violence (there is some in this movie and it is unpleasant so the squeamish might want to take a raincheck) but nobody can resist a movie if it genuinely gets under your skin. For me, this was a movie that at times I wanted to turn off or pause, it's that suffocatingly tense. If you swing the other way and violence scares you, not tension, this movie would still probably work, as some unnervingly nasty things go on as the movie progresses.
B: It makes perfect sense. Sounds obvious, but a lot of horror movies, especially high profile ones like Hide and Seek, just don't add up when you think about them. It's all well and good writing a plot that twists all over the shop, but if it doesn't tie back up at the end, people will come out feeling cheated. This movie stops that from happening, with a tight, clever story arc and some killer twists.
To sum up, this is a movie that without a large budget, or with the exception of the fabulous Ray Wise, an A list cast, ramps the chill factor up to eleven and twists so much you won't know whether you're coming or going, yet reins it all back in for an ending that makes perfect sense and gives you a proper denouement to the tale instead of a botched Scooby Doo ending. They don't make 'em like this as much as they should.
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I'll start off by saying that I love `Dead End.' It's not the greatest horror film and certainly not the most original. It doesn't even scare you that much, only relying on a generally overwhelming sense of dread. However, what makes this film worth watching are the characters.

Ray Wise (Twin Peaks) is the father who's driving his family to some long distance relatives on Christmas Eve when they take a wrong turn and things start to get more than a little weird. Don't go thinking that this is one of those films where they have to fend off a gang of vicious attackers. It's more subtle than that. Yes, it's made on a low budget, so don't go expecting any great effects.

Like I say, this film's strength is its characters and the script. You really feel that this is a real family here. They bicker. They argue. They generally harbour some deep resentment towards each other and the banter is almost funny to watch, despite the spooky setting.

You don't have to really like horror films to enjoy this, just enjoy some wonderful writing in a creepy setting.

Whether you really think this film is a classic low budget horror film or not will largely be down to the ending. It certainly isn't for everyone. I thought it was okay, but I kind of saw some of it coming. However, I still thought it was a fun film.

I'm marking high with a 5/5 - it's probably more a 4.5 for me, or a 4 for most general horror fans.
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on 29 December 2013
For the past 20 years, Frank Harrington has driven his family to celebrate Christmas with his mother-in-law.

This year, he takes a shortcut, and its a huge mistake.

A mysterious woman in white wanders through the forest, leaving death in her wake. A terrifying black car carries the victims into the heart of the night.

Every road sign points to a destination they never reach. The survivors start to panic, and deep secrets burst to the surface.

Christmas turns into a living hell.

Cruelly ignored on its initial release, Dead End is a wonderful little ghost story to watch on Christmas Eve, with all the lights down low.

Its one of those movies that will never be the same after your first viewing, the film and is narrative is a huge red herring for the story, and the final reveal will leave a chill down your spine.

But its laugh out loud funny in places, and as the tension rise, so does the family breaking down become more evident.

The cast are great and put in tense performances. It should be an alternate Christmas favourite along with the likes of Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, but unfortunately it's been overlooked.

See it, its a wonderful little movie.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2005
This film is very good. It really should not be thought of as only a horror film as it is far more subtle than that genre usually is. There is blood but it is minimal. Often the 'horror' is off screen in the best traditions of older films. It is thus left to the mind to create the horror. The directors are French & they bring a good deal of style to their film making. Beautifully dark & not without humour, I cannot praise this too highly. If you like European cinema you may well like this.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2011
I consider this among the best three horror films of its decade; very atmospheric and keeps the gorier parts in the audience's imagination mostly. It's basically a film involving a family travelling down a road while spooky things occur.

Incredibly, the film also includes comedic dialogue that works very well, lines that remained memorable long afterwards.

The film features charismatic characters and thankfully, people actually react to deaths logically.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2005
This isn't what you might expect and I would say this is more a thriller than a horror. Not knowing much about the film, I thought it would be a slasher road movie but in many ways it's better than that as it is quite original. It really does have a creepy, spooky atmosphere to it and a sense of dread of what will happen next. So it does keep you on the edge of your seat. Providing on your movie education you will either sense the coming twist at the end or be totally gobsmacked by it. Overall a very good, fairly original film that you should deffinitely watch.
There are not many extras on the disc, 2 deleted scenes which the director over explains. There is also a making of about 30mins long.
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